Like a lot of guys out there, I love bringing an old car back to life. There’s something special about an older model. They’ve got character, personality, and history! Sure, they’re not exactly a Ferrari under the bonnet, but they’re just as fun. That’s why I love taking a slightly older car, and making it feel brand new. That way, you get the best of both worlds. I recently spent a few months working on a 1999 Subaru Impreza (they just don’t make ‘em like that any more). It’s a fantastic car, but it was starting to show its age. Here’s how I made it feel new and modern again.
New paint job – The paintwork is the one of the most obvious signs of aging when it comes to cars. Weathering and damage causes more problems than you think, and you slowly lose that shine. The paintwork also succumbs to rust after a while. My Subaru had a few little bubbles developing around the wheel arches, which is the first sign of trouble. I took it for a new paint job (choosing the classic Impreza blue), and it instantly breathed new life into the car. That modern shine and sparkle made it feel brand new
Cleaning – With the new paint work, I knew I had to work hard to keep it clean. Hand-washing is the only way to go if you’re serious about keeping it looking fresh. You need the best car shampoo, and you’ll want to finish it with a good buffer and wax. That’s how the pros get the new cars looking so fantastic. The next job is keeping the upholstery and interior clean and tidy. Regular vacuuming, and a strict ban on eating and drinking will do the trick!
Fill it full of tech – The only bad thing about old cars is they lack the awesome technology of modern vehicles. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I love gadgets and tech. So, I’m a little sad my Impreza didn’t come fully kitted out. But, don’t worry, I made up for it in a big way! I installed a new electric system in the dashboard, making room for a new touch screen display and a stereo. I also tested some of the best backup camera systems for RVs and cars, before fitting a parking camera and a sensor. I packed in a new sat nav and a dock for my iPhone. Sitting behind the wheel, you’d never know the car was over 15 years old.
Regular maintenance – Like any 15 year car, the engine was starting to show its age. There were some strange noises coming from under the hood, but I soon fixed them. Now, I just need to stay on top of the regular maintenance. It drinks oil like nothing else, and I’ve changed the spark plugs two or three times already. But, it’s worth it to keep it feeling tip top!
If you like a challenge, and love old cars, try it over the next twelve months. Make yourself a promise for 2016! Trust me, it’s easier than you think when you get started.